Top positive review
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A first-class show with consistent solid action
on 28 February 2010
2008 saw a major change for WWE programming, what with Vince deciding to move away from the adult demographic and instead return to primarily focusing on general viewing and family entertainment, hence the PG rating. This has sparked off much debate and criticism from fans, and 2009 certainly saw another major change what with WWE changing the names and themes of the majority of their pay-per-views.
While this tactic is admirable for being refreshing, it's certainly turned out to be hit-and-miss. I much preferred the old names like Unforgiven and No Mercy and shows like Breaking Point and Hell in a Cell were hardly revolutionary or mandatory events to behold. Bragging Rights on the other hand, is a theme change that I really approve of. SmackDown and Raw going head-to-head (again) to determine which is the superior brand is refreshing because it's been a while since WWE has played this card. The idea alone has merit, but it's really helped out by the quality of the card also.
Raw vs. SmackDown Bragging Rights Match
John Morrison (Intercontinental Champion) vs. The Miz (U.S. Champion)
The greatest tag team of 2008 have just continued to shine, what with their respective gimmicks, mike skills, wrestling ability and of course, their titles. This was a natural choice for opener and the two provide a solid bout. Deserved longer and the story-telling could've been better but it's still cracking action that sets the mood quite nicely. (8/10)
Raw Divas vs. SmackDown Divas Bragging Rights Match
Melina (Divas Champion), Kelly Kelly & Gail Kim vs. Michelle McCool (Women's Champion), Beth Phoenix and Natalya
This was a rather decent Divas match indeed, thanks to not outstaying its welcome, the action being good and five of the girls here being real pros and shining brightly. Melina, Michelle and Beth have long proven themselves, Gail and Natalya DESERVE more of a push and Kelly does okay. Not bad indeed. (6/10)
Fatal Four Way World Heavyweight Championship Match
The Undertaker (Champion) vs. CM Punk vs. Batista vs. Rey Mysterio
This is simply more proof why SmackDown is THE wrestling show on telly today. Anytime you put Taker and Batista together you get magic, and Mysterio and Punk both had an awesome 2009. With all participants at the top of their game, the result is a fast-paced, action-filled melee that reflects the wrestling quality that makes SmackDown what it is. The aftermath is REALLY worth-watching for a long-overdue heel turn. (9/10)
7-on-7 Raw vs. SmackDown Bragging Rights Match
D-Generation X (Raw co-captains), Big Show, Kofi Kingston, Mark Henry, Jack Swagger & Cody Rhodes vs. Chris Jericho & Kane (SmackDown co-captains), Matt Hardy, Finlay, R-Truth & The Hart Dynasty
Ah, the decider for the Bragging Rights Trophy. And WHAT a decider. Fifteen minutes of brilliant action and story-telling that allows all involved to have their proud moment in the spot-light. The superb line-up of both teams really delivers, even Mark Henry doesn't take anything away from the overall quality. The outcome here is pleasing and so is the justification of which is the superior brand. Simply a terrific bout. (9/10)
60-Minute, Anything Goes Iron Man WWE Championship Match
Randy Orton (WWE Championship) vs. John Cena
They had a great rivalry in 2007, but let's be honest, in 2009, they'd milked this feud to death. Still, this long-awaited blow-off was excellent and once again shows why these two are such valuable assets to the WWE. There have been superior Iron Man matches in the past, but both Orton and Cena deserve credit for going so long and keeping the fans interested all that time. Taking away DQs and count-outs works as it makes for some fab brawling and great interference from Legacy and Kofi Kingston. Very creative overall with very, very little to criticise. Match of the night. (10/10)
So Bragging Rights can be called an excellent show indeed, due to its theme, and the bookers focusing much more on match quality instead of quantity. Extras-wise, there's only an exclusive interview with Chris Jericho but it's worth watching to see once again just how wicked he is. Bragging Rights isn't essential to own, but it certainly won't disappoint.